Six years ago tonight began a journey that has tested me in every way possible; brought me closer to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, than ever before; deepened my love and gratitude for my beloved Steve; and helped me to grasp the incredible resilience of the human body/human spirit. Thank you Lord for your sustaining grace through it all!
Rather than go into the details, I will simply refer you, Gentle Reader, to my story here. Briefly, I got deathly sick with viral hepatitis after kayaking in a local reservoir and never fully recovered. Seizure attack episodes began on a daily basis within a couple of months and have yet to resolve. This serious illness has had many names, required extensive treatments at considerable expense, and rendered me unable to work in my profession of occupational therapy. I miss working. The social isolation, sense of loss, grief, and various disabilities have changed my daily life considerably. Without my faith in Christ I would not have made it this far. I do have hope for a better tomorrow which brings me to my quarterly treatment update as follows:
Recent lab tests found extremely high pesticide toxicity. I immediately increased Far Infrared Sauna and various detox treatments until I could meet with my functional medicine Doctor. Now after two intense weeks of exhausting research, medical appointments, and enough follow-up that would make the great T.V. detective Colombo proud, I am hoping that my Doctor’s office has processed a referral to a State Toxicology Center. I found a neurologist that specializes in seizures related to toxicity and I want to see her as soon as possible!
In the meantime, I try to function as best as I can. Sadly the very difficult titration of a new medication either keeps me up most nights or wakes me up with breakthrough tic attacks every two hours. (I still spend most weekends in and out of bed with sickness.) The focus now is to inhibit acetylcholine that we hypothesize is causing the seizures because of damage from organophosphate poisoning (OP). Acute treatments for OP are well known but not for long term effects; we simply do not know how long I have had this toxicity. The medication is an interim measure. I am wondering if various Lyme, fungal, viral, and even parasitic infections have sequestered OP like these organisms can do with other toxic agents. We know that detoxification can increase feelings of sickness called “herxing” (from release and recirculation of mycotoxins for example) when we either detox too fast or our liver or kidney pathways are blocked. I now use bitter herbs with various binding agents in a “push-catch” protocol that helps to better tolerate the process.
So here we go again with another new treatment direction! At least this time I have concrete lab values to help explain what is going on along with a new, promising treatment direction. In the meantime I’ll be hanging out as the “chick in the box” (as Steve says) at about 124 or more degrees, trying to literally “sweat it out” in our sauna. There will be no anniversary celebration per se for enduring six years of hell albeit with some sweet moments sprinkled in here and there. There will be humility though as I try to be a godly steward of this journey my Lord has entrusted to my care. I do have hope for a better tomorrow. That is where this blog began 6 months into this 6-year journey and I hope that is where I will remain beyond that too.
Thank you for sharing the road with me Gentle Reader. When I see my stats ticker go up a notch my spirit gets a little lighter, knowing you are there. Thank you.
With love, JJ